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FTC rules in favor of irate parents
Nothing is more exasperating than those pesky Candy Crush unauthorised charges, but there is some good news for parents, these annoyances may be things of the past. If you are a Google Play customers, you probably have received by now an email from Google informing you that if your kid made an unauthorised purchases between March 2011 and November 2014, you could be eligible for refunds under a recent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as described in a press release.
Under pressure from the FTC and following up on complaints from incensed parents, Google Play initially set-up parental controls which requested your password before making a purchase. What unfortunate parents did not realize is by entering a password to authorize what they believed to be one purchase, a thirty minutes opportunity to purchase as many apps remained active, and the kids went for it. The FTC stated that since 2011, consumers who have filed complaints reported unauthorized charges ranging from 99 cents to $200. So much so, that Google will be refunding the hefty sum of $19 million to parents for kids' In-App purchases.
Now Google still asks for a password to make a purchase but parents can set preferences to require a a new one for every purchase, instead of leaving it open for thirty minutes.
So how to proceed if you want a refund? The steps and conditions are simple.
Your kid must have made a purchase between March 2011 and November 2014 before Google Play introduced parental controls. Also, you must file your claims made before December 2015. And that is it. No questions asked.
Follow the steps as they are described in an email sent by the Google Team to its Google Play customer. Here is an extract:
Dear Google Play customer,
To submit a refund request:
- Use this link to sign into your Google account and review your in-app purchase history.
- Select any in-app purchases that were unauthorized purchases made by a minor and click “Refund.”
- Provide the requested information for any in-app purchases selected and click “Submit.”
Once it receives the claims, Google will contact users who made qualifying in-app purchases to let them know they are or not eligible for a refund and if they are, a check will be mailed to the address on file.
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